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My picks for Supreme Court

I hesitate to do this.

If I tell you who I would like President Bush to select for the U.S. Supreme Court, it might just hurt the candidates.

I’m not exactly on the White House “A” List. More like the “S” List.

Nevertheless, I’m an American citizen. It’s my civic duty to speak out. And, who knows? Even a broken clock is right twice a day, right?

The smart money says Bush won’t appoint Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist because he doesn’t want two confirmation fights. I don’t believe Thomas would want to endure another one of those Senate spectacles. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Scalia get the job. He’s so smart and so smooth, there’s just no way those fools in the Senate who despise him would want to tangle with him. And most of them respect his intellect.

Don’t be surprised if Scalia is nominated next week to replace Rehnquist.

If he doesn’t get the job, the next chief justice will be an outsider.

Now my personal choice for the job is Janice Rogers Brown, the former California Supreme Court justice recently confirmed – after a two-year delay by Democrats in the Senate – to the federal bench. The 56-year-old daughter of an Alabama sharecropper, she has received more confirmation votes by California voters than Sens. Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Boxer get in their election campaigns.

For my money, she’s the best of the bunch. But not the most likely choice. Asking the Democratic Party plantation owners in the U.S. Senate to confirm a black woman who understands, supports and upholds the Constitution of the United States is asking too much. This would be a replay of the Thomas hearings. The Democrats are shamelessly racist. And the press lets them get away with it. They are immune to legitimate, valid and obvious displays of racism.

To my knowledge, Brown is not on Bush’s short list. Remember who is doing the vetting – U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He’s bad news. She’s just too good. So on with the show.

Michael McConnell of the Denver 10th Circuit is on the short list. He would be an excellent choice. But, if he’s nominated, his outspoken record on abortion will become the issue. He flat-out says Roe v. Wade was a bad decision – which is an understatement. This guy sounds too good to be true in almost every way – which is why he’s unlikely to be selected by the gutless Bush administration.

Then there is J. Michael Luttig. Solid. If you hear this name, rejoice. Bush could do a lot worse and probably will.

Samuel Alito Jr. is said to be a leading contender. This, too, would be good news for freedom-loving Americans.

We could also do worse than Theodore Olson, but I have not noticed his name mentioned by administration sources.

There really are a plethora of good potential judicial nominees out there. So there is no excuse to settle for less. But, as I grow older, I recognize we almost always do settle for less in America and in this fallen world of ours.

So let’s look at the worst-case scenarios.

James Harvie Wilkinson III: Mark my words, if this guy is selected, you will be looking at the next David Souter, the next Sandra Day O’Connor and the next Anthony Kennedy all wrapped up in one “pragmatist” who will bend with the wind and conform to the majority’s will. Trust me. This is what his supporters say as evidence he’s the right guy for the job!

Alberto Gonzales: Yes, the same person responsible for vetting the candidates is himself a candidate. Bush is said to have mused about the possibilities of a “Gonzales Court.” But this would be a disaster. Might as well let the American Civil Liberties Union name the next justice. And, let’s not forget, Bush asked Dick Cheney to vet vice-presidential candidates in 2000. Who did Bush pick? Dick Cheney.

I’m suddenly getting very depressed.

It’s entirely possible, with Bush in the White House, that the Supreme Court could get markedly worse when Rehnquist retires.